Educating Our Way to a Better Economy

Secretary Arne Duncan joined Labor Secretary Hilda Solis today to announce a historic $2 billion investment in helping meet the President’s goal of having the “most-educated, most-competitive workforce in the world by 2020”: the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Grant Program.

In our globally competitive, knowledge-based economy, employers need workers with postsecondary skills, credentials, and degrees. Our postsecondary institutions must dramatically increase their completion rates and build partnerships with industry to ensure that the skills that are being taught are the skills employers need.

These grants also represent one of the largest expansions of access to high-quality job training and educational resources in history. They are designed to use evidence to replicate success, build institutional capacity to use evidence to increase outcomes, and build a body of evidence to inform investment decisions. All learning materials created in this process—from full courses to textbooks—will be made freely available online. Additionally, institutions can apply to develop a new generation of high-quality, cutting-edge shared courses and resources to help students learn more quickly at lower costs.

This program is being run by the Department of Labor, in close collaboration with the Department of Education.

You can find the Department of Labor’s press release at

You can find the solicitation for grant applications at

Amy Laitinen
Office of Vocational and Adult Education


  1. President should focus on both teachers (because they are teaching future professionals) and studets (because many do not have the money to attend to college-university).

  2. “Teachers Left Behind” a message needed to be publicize in our community and throughout the nation. As it seems, President Obama is poring money into the economy and making money easily access for: bailing out corporations, industries, prevention for the drop out rate, the Spanish speaker, doctors in low economic areas, and building roads etc…! Etc…! One major problem he forgot to address, the assistance for the educators who live, work and service low socio economic areas. Educators who get students to stay in school and teach them the fundamentals of the 3 R’s and the 1, 2, 3’s. The issue I am referring to are the student loans BEFORE 1986. They are affecting teachers in and out of the classroom. Anxiety, depression, stress and the pressure of paying a $500.00 dollar loan payment, month in and month out. This type of stress is trickling INTO THE CLASSROOM. Some teachers are getting additional jobs to stay afloat and to make ends meet. Especially the single parent who have struggled to maintain her family while attending college and still wind up in the same predicament of being poor. These teachers do not qualify for loan forgiveness or any government assistance in any form. These teachers have been in the profession for over 10+ years. They should be rewarded for their service in the profession but instead they are been punished for seeking a better life for themselves and their family! Some teachers live on or just above the national poverty line. The President should address this matter and assist teachers whom are the educators of lawyers, doctors, dentists, astronauts, congressmen, and Presidents. Teachers do not employ but create employees. If the President would have the student loans before 1986 to be forgiven, imagine teachers would be able to pour money into the economy by buying homes, cars, clothes, extra incentives that they have been deprived of for years

  3. I am a recently graduated teacher, and I believe this can definetly help to improve our quality of living, but also help those that struggle with student loans, and heavy finanical burdens when exiting college. I did not have to deal with this burden, because my parents were able to help me, and I had the HOPE scholarship all four years, but now that I have started my masters program, I am feeling like the finances are a little too much. This would greatly help our ecoomy as well as our nation.

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